New Jazz & Blues – June 21, 2022
Albare & Co – Freedom (Alfi): “ALBARE is the nom de guerre of Albert Dadon, a virtuoso jazz guitarist with a strong melodic sense and a wealth of global influences. Born in Morocco and raised in Israel and France, Albare first worked as a musician in France, before emigrating to Australia at the age of 27. He is not only well known as a jazz musician but has maintained a highly successful career as one of Australia’s most prominent musician entrepreneurs. He is undoubtedly a major force in Australian jazz, having directed the Melbourne Jazz Festival for many years and as chairman of the Australian Jazz Awards. In 2008 he received the Order of Australia for his service to the Arts and Business.” (https://www.hbclub.org/3137971168-albare-freedom-2022.html) Click here to listen to songs on this release.
Chris Beyt – New Roots (Ears & Eyes): “Dr. Chris Beyt is a jazz guitarist, bassist, composer, recording engineer, and educator living in Asheville, NC…. Chris grew up in Baton Rouge, LA where he learned the trombone, and later switched to guitar. In 1999, he received music and academic scholarships to Loyola University in New Orleans where he studied with John Eubanks and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies. During that time and for two years afterwards, he performed in New Orleans at various venues on both guitar and electric bass. In 2005, he moved to Denton, TX where he studied guitar with Fred Hamilton and began his studies on upright bass, on which he has since been performing in addition to guitar. Chris earned his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance from the University of North Texas in 2008. Immediately following, he moved to Champaign, IL where he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Jazz Performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studied with Larry Gray, Chip Stephens, and Chip McNeill. While primarily a jazz musician, Chris has performed many styles in venues such as the Jazz Showcase in Chicago, Tipitina’s, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. He has performed with distinguished artists such as Dave Liebman, Bob Sheppard, Michael League, Randy Brecker, Jim Pugh, Ed Soph, and the Mobile Symphony Orchestra, and he performs regularly on guitar as well as upright and electric bass in and around the Asheville area…. Chris completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts with his doctoral thesis, “Compositional Structure and Characteristic Ideas in the Improvisations of Jim Hall.” (https://www.chrisbeyt.com/biography) I regret I am unable to find a sample from this release.
Extended – Without Notice (Self-produced): “Extended are an adventurous piano trio who have been around for a while, debuting five years ago. They are pianist Oscar Rossignoli hailing from Honduras, bassist Matt Booth from near Washington DC and drummer Brad Webb from South Louisiana….” (SG) “Immediately after dropping their 2019 critically acclaimed sophomore release, Harbinger (Origin Records), New Orleans-based trio Extended set to work assembling the material for Without Notice. Embedded in the previous album were flashes of the long-form, highly improvisational yet through-composed and thoroughly collective approach to songwriting that has become their signature, and this new album is their calling card. Without Notice is full of twists and turns and surprises – it is their most musically adventurous album to date, the material largely worked out on stage over several years of active local gigging and touring. In that process, they’ve expanded their palette of sound worlds, adding 90s hip-hop grooves (“Central Standard”) and unexpected post-production overdubs (“Impairment Process”), to the Debussy textures (“The Ineffable Allure of Shadows”) and Keith Jarrett-tinged jazz-rock phrasing (“The Gardens”) that listeners have come to expect. Ironically, it is now, on this third release that they have finally found an occasion to swing (“Sphere”). The title cut is the newest tune in the book, written during the early days of the Covid-19 shutdown. By comparison, it is a simple tune, yet it is an example of the way their music can turn on a dime, offering something different at any moment. As an album title, it is a reminder of how the year 2020 unfolded, and luckily, Extended was in a position to take advantage of the unexpected free time of the shutdown and dive headfirst into preparing this recording. This is their pandemic gift to us. Each member writes equally for the band, drawing on their disparate life experiences – Rossignoli grew up in Honduras, Webb in South Louisiana, and Booth outside Washington, DC. They began playing together in the boil pot of the New Orleans music scene in 2016, and despite their diversity of influences, they have done what all bands strive to do. Extended has developed a singular ensemble sound. This is contemporary piano trio music from a band that knows who it is, where it came from, and where it is headed.” (https://extendedtrio.bandcamp.com/album/without-notice) Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this release.
Scott Hamilton – Classics (Stunt): “Scott Hamilton and a swinging rhythm section deliver a delightful and creative program of well-known themes from the classical repertoire – reimagined and repurposed for jazz quartet. Over time, artists get to know their audience and their expectations. The ability to give people what they want while gently stretching their perspectives and perceptions should be the goal of all artists. Scott Hamilton and his quartet manage to do just that on their new album, and one has to believe that some of the creators of the source material would be tickled to hear this take on it today!… The Lamp Is Low,” given a relaxed bossa nova feel, is based on Maurice Ravel’s Pavane pour une infante défunte. Hamilton’s tenor tone is rich in texture and buzzes with excitement. The quartet builds a feel that Hamilton digs into for his solo. He focuses on melodic development while still making his harmonic choices very clear. Jazz-meets-classical music is rich and nearly as old as Jazz music itself. Here the ensemble brings these two worlds together in a beautifully structured arrangement that keeps the integrity of both styles. “My Reverie” brings Hamilton’s warm, lush tonal language and pulls out new life into the theme of Claude Debussy’s “Reverie.” Most people have heard the original classical version, and Hamilton and company perform a fascinatingly fresh approach filled with outstanding jazz musicianship. Over time, artists get to know their audience and their expectations. Hamilton has a clear picture of how most jazz fans enjoy the classics, and combining them is a winning approach. In Classics, Hamilton demonstrates he can give his fans what they want while gently stretching their angles and experiences. Hamilton and his quartet manage to do that on this album in a manner that has elegance and is still deeply rooted in jazz.’ (https://jazzsensibilities.com/jazz/scott-hamilton-classics-review/) Click here to listen to songs from this release.
Christian Jacob – New Jazz Standards, Volume 5 – The Music Of Carl Saunders (Summit): Featuring 12 of Carl Saunders’ finest songs and the consistently brilliant playing of Christian Jacob, New Jazz Standards delivers in a special way! Carl Saunders Carl Saunders is one of the world’s great jazz trumpeters, a super technician who is a masterful improviser with his own sound. In his career he has performed with a countless number of jazz greats. This recording (and Series) feature Saunders’ originals taken from his New Jazz Standards book. “I have been writing tunes all of my life,” says the trumpeter-composer. “I had many of them sitting by the piano, unorganized and looking like a bit of a mess. I finally decided to print them out and organize them in a folder and finally publishing them into a book which I called New Jazz Standards which has over 300 songs.” I let the artists pick whatever tunes they want to do from the book and interpret them in their own style. The rewarding series has thus far showcased quite an array of talent, starting with flutist Sam Most and continuing with sets starring trombonist Scott Whitfield, pianist Roger Kellaway, and guitarist Larry Koonse. For Vol. 5, Carl Saunders wanted to feature pianist Christian Jacob. “He’s one of the very best, a complete classical musician who has mastered jazz.” Multi-Grammy nominated Christian Jacob, who was born in France, studied classical music from the age of four and was considered a child prodigy but became attracted to jazz and improvisation by the time he was ten. He not only attended the Berklee College of Music but won a series of awards as a student and for a time taught at the college. He gained his initial fame in the jazz world when he played and arranged for some of the great. The pianist suggested that bassist Darek Oles be part of this project. Oles has made many recordings including sets with Brad Mehldau and Charles Lloyd. Saunders says “Christian and I decided on the great Joe LaBarbera for the drum duties who is one of the most musical drummers on the scene. When you listen to him play music comes out of his drums. Click here to listen to songs on this disc.
Snorre Kirk Quartet w/ Stephen Riley – Going Up (Stunt Records): “Snorre Kirk is a Norwegian drummer who as a group leader is the custodian and purveyor of the light, swing to bop, Basie inflected jazz that preceded modalism and the absorption of rock influences. The set he offers here is unashamedly retro but consisting entirely of original compositions modelled on mid to up tempo blues riffs with a calypso type tune and a piece entitled `Blues Arabesque` that is a near relation to `Caravan`, just to ring the changes. None exceed six minutes and are delivered with a purposeful concision that says everything necessary but is so perfectly executed that it leaves you wanting more. Kirk is a straight ahead drummer who eschews polyrhythms for a crisp, uncluttered percussive momentum in precision linked sync with a buoyant, propulsive bass line, providing an ideal foundation for his soloists. Principal amongst these is American tenorist Stephen Riley, who like countless saxophonists who have drawn inspiration from Lester Young plays with a light vibrato avoiding showy histrionics preferring to craft well thought out solos of melodic substance. Another sax player is listed amongst the personnel but it isn’t made clear in the notes on which tracks he actually appears. I detect a tonal difference, a more contemporary sound, on the calypso tune and the solo ululation that prefaces `Blues Arabesque` but the rest sounds like the work of Riley who is given billing on the cover and in the notes as the star soloist. All in all, this a delightful set of music played with precision and panache by all concerned and we may offer thanks to whatever gods may be that there are still musicians around who are sufficiently interested and competent to play this style of jazz and maintain it as a living tradition.” (Reviewed by Euan Dixon) Click here to listen to “Going Up”.
Hendrik Meurkens & The WDR Big Band – Samba Jazz Odyssey (Soho): “Hendrik Meurkens, a virtuoso on both the chromatic harmonica and the vibraphone, is the most important jazz harmonica player since Toots Thielemans. German-born but now based in New York, Meurkens’ recordings and performances garner worldwide acclaim because the transcendent beauty of his music has universal appeal. A two-mallet player in the tradition of Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson, Hendrik Meurkens was en-route to being an instantly recognizable vibraphonist when he heard Toots Thielemans. Inspired by the sound of Thielemans’ harmonica, he taught himself the difficult-to-master instrument. Hendrik Meurkens’ other life-changing musical experience was his introduction to samba and bossa nova. He was so moved by Brazilian music that after perfecting his unique musical voice at Berklee, as a vibraphone major, he moved to Rio in the early 80s to totally immerse himself in music and culture of Brazil…. Back in Germany by ’83, he became a respected studio musician, recording with European Radio Orchestras and leading his own groups, as well as accompanying visiting legends like Harry ‘Sweets’ Edison and Buddy Tate. Within ten years, he had established himself as the “new jazz harmonica voice,” and moved to New York, thanks to an exclusive contract with the prestigious label, Concord Records. He has since recorded fifteen albums, and continues to perform as both a guest artist, and with his own groups, both in festivals and clubs globally. Hendrik Meurkens’ profound involvement in both jazz and Brazilian music resulted in a very personal and instantly recognizable version of Samba jazz. This music, a cross-cultural amalgam guaranteed to touch the heart, features his harmonica and vibes along with piano, bass and drums, playing his stirring originals and arrangements. The group has been documented on a number of CDs, most notably the Hendrik Meurkens desert island disc, October Colors.As a featured artist, he has recorded with Charlie Byrd, Jimmy Cobb, Ivan Lins, Monty Alexander, Claudio Roditi, Manfredo Fest and Mundell Lowe, as well as backing such leading artists as Astrid Gilberto and Olivia Newton John and touring with the Ray Brown Trio, Paquito D’Rivera, Oscar Castro Neves, Herb Ellis, Herbie Mann, Charlie Byrd, and James Moody among many others…. Like any great musician, Hendrik Meurkens still practices incessantly, yet his music remains very melodic and rhythmically pleasing. “I like beautiful music, Sinatra, Jobim, Charlie Parker, so I concentrate on playing things that the audience can enjoy. Complicated music doesn’t really mean anything except for professionals who want to analyze it. I want people to feel what I do and the best way to do that is to play something touches their hearts.” (http://hendrikmeurkens.com/blog/) Listen to Hendrik Meurkens and Big Bans from this release.
Troy Roberts – Nu-Jive Nations United (Self-produced): “Two-time Grammy nominated Australian saxophonist and composer Troy Roberts is based in New York City, maintaining a busy performance and recording schedule around the globe with some of the greatest jazz artists of today including Joey DeFrancesco, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, Kurt Elling, Orrin Evans, and is currently celebrating his 14th release, ‘Nu-Jive: Nations United’”(Toy Robot Music). All of the music was written Roberts and the backing musicians are Tim Jago (guitar), Silvano Monasterios (keys), Eric England (bass) and David Chiverton (drums).” Click here to listen to the songs on this release.
Grant Stewart & Bruce Harris – The Lighting Of The Lamps (Cellar Live): “Grant Stewart was born in Toronto, Canada, on June 4, 1971, and moved to New York City at the age of 19 studying with masters such as Donald Byrd and Barry Harris. He has released 16 recordings as a leader and has co-led two sessions with fellow tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander. He has also appeared on many other recordings as a sideman.” (https://grantstewartjazz.bandcamp.com/album/the-lighting-of-the-lamps) “On a grey New York City afternoon, tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart was listening to tracks he recorded with his quartet and trumpeter Bruce Harris at the iconic Van Gelder Studio. It struck him that the music reminded him of a line from one of his favourite poems, “Preludes” by T.S. Eliot. The first stanza of the poem vividly conveys the bleak loneliness of a city on a winter’s late afternoon. At the end of the stanza, one declarative line provides hopeful counterpoint: “And then the lighting of the lamps.” It’s the line that came to mind for Stewart when listening to the Van Gelder session. “For me the poem really captures the feeling of life in the city and of the sense of something about to begin, and for us musicians quite often our day is about to begin when the lamps come on.” says Stewart. On a grey New York City afternoon, tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart was listening to tracks he recorded with his quartet and trumpeter Bruce Harris at the iconic Van Gelder Studio. It struck him that the music reminded him of a line from one of his favourite poems, “Preludes” by T.S. Eliot. The first stanza of the poem vividly conveys the bleak loneliness of a city on a winter’s late afternoon. At the end of the stanza, one declarative line provides hopeful counterpoint: “And then the lighting of the lamps.” It’s the line that came to mind for Stewart when listening to the Van Gelder session. “For me the poem really captures the feeling of life in the city and of the sense of something about to begin, and for us musicians quite often our day is about to begin when the lamps come on.” says Stewart. The same can be said about the eight tunes on Stewart’s album, aptly titled The Lighting Of The Lamps. Like the vibe in NYC where Stewart lives, the music on this invigorating recording has a dynamic spirit. Like Eliot’s poem, right from the first song there’s an expectant anticipation about where Stewart and the musicians will go with the uniquely curated repertoire. They deliver on the promise, with ardent jazz that both honours tradition and sounds timeless.” (Chris Wong) Click here to listen to the songs on this release.
Aaron Stroessner Quartet – Gifts (Self-produced): “Aaron grew up in tiny Monroe, Wisconsin, at a time when, strangely, the area seemed to rule rock, with bands like Cheap Trick, REO Speedwagon, and Styx from nearby. While too young to see those bands, Aaron, the youngest of a big family, grew up a bit of a rock aficionado, more perceptive listener than active participant, although he played guitar along with his albums in the family’s basement. Putting a band together seemed like a dream, but finding other players was nearly impossible. Going to college in Madison, Wisconsin, Aaron came under the spell of slide blues guitarist Paul Black, a local legend, and roots music came to the fore. Within two years Aaron transferred to Berklee school of music to study guitar. At that time there were many great players to see in Boston, young guys like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roy Hargrove, and John Medeski. Aaron’s horizons expanded further, again, through sheer exposure. Moving to New York in 1991, Aaron was ready to make a statement. He found his voice returning to his roots, fronting the rock band Dead Left, which he called ‘country/punk/grunge/pop.’ The band released 4 CDs which garnered some attention from major labels, and played what were some of NYC’s most notorious rock clubs, including CBGBs, the original Knitting Factory, Arlene’s Grocery and the Continental. But after almost a decade, Aaron’s days of singing (and being a rocker) seemed, well, over. A return to jazz, now as a writer and player, felt like another return to his past, to a different part of his past, always an encouraging sign. Years after Berklee, attended graduate schools at New York University and then the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, with hopes of becoming a music professor (guitar is so poorly represented) but happy just to be playing…. Stroessner are rebased Lincoln at the Zoo Bar. (https://www.aaronstroessnermusic.com/about-aaron-stroessner/) Click here for some previous songs.
Melissa Stylianou w/ Gene Bertoncini & Ike Sturm – Dream Dancing (Anzic): “Vocalist Melissa Stylianou Tylianou joins guitar master Gene Bertoncini and virtuoso bassist Ike Strum for an intimidate trio encounter. Dream Dancing documents the trio’s effortless rapport as they explore well-loved standards and a moving Bertoncini original, “For Chet” (an homage to the guitarist’s one-time employer, Chet Baker). It was Sturm who facilitated the first meeting of Stylianou and Bertoncini, in roughly 2008. “When I first met Gene we played ‘My One and Only Love,’ it was the very next thing after ‘hello,’” the singer recalls. “That moment changed my life. I didn’t yet know about Gene accompanying my vocal heroes like Nancy Wilson, or recording with Wayne Shorter, or playing with Benny Goodman. I just knew I was in the middle of something special. I knew that day I had found a generous master to learn from, a kindred spirit in melody, someone I now call family.”
“He is so at home with these tunes,” says Sturm. “Gene trained as an architect in college, so he really is an architect of these arrangements — and the complete freedom that happens in the moment, allowing us to come together in this new way every single time. It’s a freedom that’s only possible after Gene has done all this homework and poured his heart into it.”
“Every time we play it’s different,” Stylianou remarks. “Ike and Gene have this incredible bond and we all have a very playful way of doing music. We lean into that. The album title Dream Dancing feels right because we find ourselves listening and being spontaneous to such a degree that we end up taking turns ‘leading and following’ in the dance.” (https://melissa-stylianou.bandcamp.com/album/dream-dancing) Click here to listen to some samples from this release.
John Wasson’s Strata Big Band – Chronicles (Summit/MAMA): “John Wasson is an award-winning composer, arranger, performer and conductor whose works have been performed by world-class orchestras and performers world-wide! Chronicles offers intense swing, infectious funk and driving clave, lush ensemble sonorities, sensitive solo showcases and fresh, reimagined classics!”
“The evolution of a composer/arranger is a life-long journey. Those achieving excellence have dedicated their lives to the process, using every newly acquired skill to highlight the next episode in their musical timeline. John Wasson’s Chronicles is a perfect illustration of this axiom, with pieces mined from his seasoned writing career that present like chapters from a well-crafted biographical novel. Chronicles takes the listener through a myriad of styles set through the big band prism, with a program moving from intense swing, infectious funk and driving clave, to lush ensemble sonorities, sensitive solo showcases and freshly reimagined classics, all culminating in a programatic multi-movement tour de force. This album not only showcases top professionals with impressive ensemble skills, but also a group containing some very personalized and expressive solo voices. And those voices seamlessly meld with the fabric of John’s writing, exemplifying the true definition of a jazz orchestra.” (John Fedchock) Click here to listen to the songs on this disc.
Janiva Magness – Hard To Kill (Fathead Records): “Singer-songwriter-author Janiva Magness makes a forceful return on June 24 with the release of Hard to Kill, the Los Angeles-based musician’s first new collection in three years, on her own label Fathead Records. The seven-time Blues Music Awards recipient (and the 2009 B.B. King Entertainer of the Year, the Blues Foundation’s highest honor) and 2016 Grammy Award nominee will simultaneously release the Fathead audio book edition of Weeds Like Us, her frank, profoundly moving 2019 memoir…. Magness, who co-wrote four of the dozen new compositions on Hard to Kill, says of her boldly honest and affecting new collection of songs, “I feel like it’s a retrospective — not just of my musical life, but of my life. At this point, with what I’ve been through in my life, top to bottom, you know what, the gloves are off, and the rules are, there really aren’t any rules.” The musician sees a direct link between her new album — which leads off with the autobiographical track “Strong As Steel” — and her book, an unflinching and shattering look back at a life shaken by physical and sexual abuse, the suicides of both her parents, years in foster care, drug addiction and alcoholism, and teenage pregnancy and motherhood. It also details the beginnings of her distinguished musical career, for which she found early inspiration in the work of such blues titans as Otis Rush and Etta James…. Sitting on the bedrock of blues, soul, and funk, the music on Hard to Kill is so tough and assured that it comes as a surprise when Magness says she was initially uncertain about undertaking the making of a new album. Hard to Kill is bracketed by the album’s most powerful and personal songs, which Magness penned with her Australian collaborators Lauren Bliss and Andrew Lowden, whom she describes as “incredibly intuitive writers.” “I recorded the audio book, and then we tracked the record, boom-boom, right next to each other,” Magness says. “Doing that audio book opened the lens on the camera super-wide, because I don’t walk around on a daily basis thinking about all that stuff any more. “I recorded the audio book, and then we tracked the record, boom-boom, right next to each other,” Magness says. “Doing that audio book opened the lens on the camera super-wide, because I don’t walk around on a daily basis thinking about all that stuff any more. “But reading what I wrote aloud gave me a reminder, a ‘holy shit!’ kind of reminder: I’m gonna be all right. Whatever I’m afraid of or worry about or upset about, I’m gonna get through. At the same time that I was coming from this place of being so unsure of myself, a part of me said, ‘You know what? You might be kind of a badass.’”Hard to Kill leaves no doubt about it! (https://www.newfrontiertouring.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/JanivaMagness_HardtoKill_Bio.pdf) Click here to listen to “Strong As Steel”.
The Suffers – It Starts With Love (Missing Piece Records): “Gulf Coast soul band The Suffers have released their new album, It Starts With Love, via Missing Piece Records. A common thread of empowerment runs through the new record which has already received widespread acclaim. The new album features previously released singles “Yada Yada,” a playful country-blues track on the hypocrisy often found in the music industry; “How Do We Heal” (feat. Son Little and Bryce The Third), a poignant question on enduring racial violence and trauma; and “Take Me To The Good Times,” which was named one of the best songs of the week by Rolling Stone.
“Nunya” is a song about just a few of the hardships, lessons, wins and losses we have experienced in our 11 years together as a band. I wrote it in Nashville after experiencing a really bad day filled with big promises, gaslighting, and deceitful behavior from an industry big whig. Instead of letting the moment get the best of me, I decided to fight back via song. “Nunya” allowed me to air some industry grievances, confront the trauma that came with having our gear stolen a few years back, and it gave me my power back. We recorded most of it with Dave Boyle at Church House Studios in Austin, TX, and I’m eternally grateful for the process. It is my hope that by sharing the truths expressed in this song, that it will help encourage others to keep pursuing their dreams, even when it gets hard. (frontwoman Kam Franklin) “Mixed by GRAMMY-winner Adrian Quesada (Black Pumas), who transferred all of the sessions to analog tape, and mastered by Chris Longwood (Khruangbin, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic), It Starts With Love is an album for survivors, for the down and out, for the doubted and the written off, but it’s delivered with the kind of faith and conviction that ultimately transcends pain and anger to instead land on something far more triumphant and spiritually rewarding.” (https://www.americanbluesscene.com/2022/06/the-suffers-release-new-album-it-starts-with-love/) Click here to listen to “Nunya”.
Tedeschi Trucks Band – I Am The Moon: I Crescent (Fantasy): “Tedeschi Trucks Band announces the most ambitious studio project of their storied career: I Am The Moon, an epic undertaking in four albums with four corresponding films and 24 original songs. Inspired by a mythic Persian tale of star-crossed lovers, and emotionally driven by the isolation and disconnection of the pandemic era, the thematic I Am The Moon totals more than two hours of music, unfolding a robust tapestry of genre-defying explorations that propel the treasured American ensemble into new and thrilling creative territory.
The project I Am The Moon, started taking shape in May, 2020, two months after the band was forced off the road by lockdown. Mike Mattison sent an email to Derek, Susan, Gabe and Tyler with a suggestion for the group: read Layla and Majnun. Written by the 12th Century Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi, the poem is an enduring tale of star-crossed devotion and was the title inspiration for Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. – an influential album for TTB. But Ganjavi’s vast 100-page poem resonated with Mike in an altogether different way. Mike explains that, the Clapton album is one point of view, Layla as this love object: ‘I want you, I can’t have you.'” But after Mattison read the original work, “I realized there are many things going on from different perspectives” and proposed, in his email, “revisiting this material as a band, as writers.”
“When Mike said, ‘Well, what does Layla think about all this?’, I thought that was an amazing way to look at the story,” Trucks says. I Am The Moon was written collectively and collaboratively, with band members contributing different perspectives on the poem. By January 2021 the band was recording at Tedeschi and Trucks’ home studio, Swamp Raga, in Jacksonville, FL, with Derek behind the board as producer. “It’s amazing,” Trucks says, “because we wrote most of this music in a pretty short time span. There are even chord changes that mirror other tunes – themes and variations, lyrical allusions, that pop back up.” He continues: “You always want to do something bigger and thematic. This is the first time it happened naturally.” The decision to sequence and release I Am The Moon in four distinct episodes came “when we started thinking of records we love,” Trucks says, citing “Axis: Bold as Love”, the 1967 LP by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. “It’s 36 minutes long. That’s the way to digest a record.”
Pasaquan: As you watch “I Am The Moon: The Film”, you will see a deep array of psychedelic imagery, vibrant colors and sculptures. Many of those scenes were shot at the internationally renowned arts site in Buena Vista, Georgia, Pasaquan. Created by the eccentric folk artist Eddie Owens Martin who in 1957 changed his name to St. EOM (pronounced Ohm) and became the first Pasaquoyan. He worked on the art project that became Pasaquan for 30 years, creating six major structures, mandala murals and more than 900 feet of elaborately painted masonry walls. Pasaquan lavishly fuses African, pre-Columbian Mexico and Native American cultural and religious symbols and designs. Trucks first discovered Martin and his art as a teenager, through his friend and mentor, the late singer Col. Bruce Hampton. St. EOM’s work now sits in major institutions such as the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C. and Pasaquan is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Click here for “I Am The Moon”.
Brad Wilson – Brad “Guitar” Wilson (Self-produced): “Brad “Guitar” Wilson is currently charting on the Roots Music Chart in the top 50 albums also on the UK IBBA chart in the Top 40 albums.International guitarist/singer/songwriter Brad “Guitar” Wilson has a soulful contemporary sound, tapping into all his sources of inspiration. His performances have made him a stand-out hit at countless shows. Considered more than a talented guitarist by his audience, Brad is an exciting entertainer. As a charismatic guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Brad has become known as a modern hot guitar player who can entertain the house with the best of them. His show features his songwriting and great renditions of dance cover songs. Brad’s live show is presented with spirit and class. Brad completed his first European tour of the Netherlands in 2019 and returned in May, 2022 for more shows. Click here to listen to “Some Day After A While”.
Various Artists – Blues Mix 33 – Party Mood Music (Ecko): Basically a party music collection for dancing and promoting the top dance release by the Ecko label. The Ecko include Jaye Hammer, Ms. Jody, O.B. Buchana, Lee Shot Williams and Sheba Potts-Wright. Click here to listen to samples of the songs on this disc.